BOLD fMRI of visual and somatosensory-motor stimulations in baboons

Neuroimage. 2010 Oct 1;52(4):1420-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.05.014. Epub 2010 May 13.


Baboon, with its large brain size and extensive cortical folding compared to other non-human primates, serves as a good model for neuroscience research. This study reports the implementation of a baboon model for blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI studies (1.5 x 1.5 x 4 mm resolution) on a clinical 3T-MRI scanner. BOLD fMRI responses to hypercapnic (5% CO(2)) challenge, 10 Hz flicker visual, and vibrotactile somatosensory-motor stimulations were investigated in baboons anesthetized sequentially with isoflurane and ketamine. Hypercapnia evoked robust BOLD increases. Paralysis was determined to be necessary to achieve reproducible functional activations within and between subjects under our experimental conditions. With optimized anesthetic doses (0.8-1.0% isoflurane or 6-8 mg/kg/h ketamine) and adequate paralysis (vecuronium, 0.2 mg/kg), robust activations were detected in the visual (V), primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory, primary motor (M cortices), supplementary motor area (SMA), lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and thalamus (Th). Data were tabulated for 11 trials under isoflurane and 10 trials under ketamine on 5 baboons. S1, S2, M, and V activations were detected in essentially all trials (90-100% of the time, except 82% for S2 under isoflurane and 70% for M under ketamine). LGN activations were detected 64-70% of the time under both anesthetics. SMA and Th activations were detected 36-45% of the time under isoflurane and 60% of the time under ketamine. BOLD percent changes among different structures were slightly higher under ketamine than isoflurane (0.75% versus 0.58% averaging all structures), but none was statistically different (P>0.05). This baboon model offers an opportunity to non-invasively image brain functions and dysfunctions in large non-human primates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Papio hamadryas
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*